How to make raw cashew cream

Raw cashew cream
Dates and cashews

Cashew cream is one of my favorite condiments. It counts as a condiment, right? I slather it on muffins and spice breads, use it as a fruit dip, and sometimes - when no one's watching - I eat it straight out of the jar. The tall guy? He hates the stuff. Like, hates it more than he hates gravy, coffee and ranch dressing, combined. I know what you're thinking, how can anyone hate coffee? But he does. And he hates cashew cream even more. Because - wait for it - it tastes like cashews.Dude is batshit crazy, but I love him nonetheless.

The thing I love about cashew cream (listen up, tall guy) is that it's super versatile and tastes pretty delicious. If you want it sweeter, add more dates. Less sweet? Use fewer dates. For a savory version, omit the dates and add some nutritional yeast, spices, salt, or whatever your little belly desires. You can play with the consistency by varying the liquid measurement, which I've laid out below. If you plan on storing the cream for longer than one week, you'll want to either a) freeze it, then thaw it in the refrigerator for a day or two, or b) add 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice, which will preserve it for two weeks.

RAW CASHEW CREAM

1 1/2 cups raw cashew pieces4-6 medjool dates, pitted
3/4 cup raw nut milk (or water)
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

Place the cashews in a bowl, cover with water and soak for at least 4 hours, or overnight (the longer you soak them, the better - especially if you don't have a high speed blender). 30 minutes before preparing the cashew cream, add the dates to the cashew soaking bowl and soak for 30 minutes. Once soaked, drain the water and transfer the cashews and dates to the base of a high speed blender, such as a Vitamix. Add the nut milk and vanilla bean; blend on high speed for 2-3 minutes, or until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Transfer to an air tight container and refrigerate for up to one week.

Yield: 1 3/4 cups


VARIATIONS

1/4 cup liquid = very thick cream; use as frosting for raw layer cakes
1/2 cup liquid = semi-thick cream; use to fill raw tarts
3/4 cup liquid = light cream; can also be used to fill raw tarts or spread over baked goods
1 cup liquid = sauce-like cream; use as a fruit dip or drizzle over desserts
3 cups liquid = thick cashew milk; great as a raw ice cream base